NHS workers to strike for 12 hours in pay dispute

NHS workers are walking out on strike for 12 hours on January 29.

NHS workers to strike for 12 hours in pay dispute

Members of the Unison trade union, including nurses and porters, will then 'work to rule' between January 30 and February 24, meaning they will do only their contracted hours, will take their breaks and not do unpaid overtime.

A further 24-hour walkout will follow on February 24.

It is the the third round of action protesting at the Government's decision to refuse a one per cent pay rise for NHS staff recommended by an independent pay review body.

Franco Buonaguro, West Midlands regional head of health for Unison said: "We warned months ago that this dispute is here to stay unless the Government and NHS employers are prepared to negotiate with us.

"Instead they are being completely irresponsible by refusing to have meaningful negotiations on how we resolve this dispute.

"Our members' pay has been frozen or held down for the past five years and there is no end in sight. On average, they have lost around 10 per cent in the value of their pay over the life of this parliament.

"We now have no option but to escalate and plan for longer strikes.

"The anger among health workers has reached levels where they are now ready to walk out for 24 hours. NHS staff have been singled out by this coalition government for the worst treatment across the public sector.

"There are a total of 11 pay review bodies across the country and all but one has been implemented. This includes the pay review body which decides the pay increase given to MPs - a huge 11 per cent. It is only the NHS that has not had the recommended increase implemented.

"In the NHS, many workers are facing serious financial hardship especially at this time of year. It is a national disgrace that 77,000 NHS staff still don't receive the living wage and that many have to rely on food banks. The governments in Wales and Scotland have committed to paying this.

"All we are asking is for fair and decent pay for NHS workers."

The Department for Health has described the strikes as disappointing.

It said it had put forward proposals that would guarantee staff at least a one per cent rise but that they had been rejected by unions.

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